Friday, January 11, 2013

Why mannequins?

It was 4:00 in the morning at my friend Christine's apartment in NYC, when I woke up with the idea to paint mannequins. Usually my visits to NYC result in some wonderful candid photographs of unusual dress, but this time the plastic ones behind the glass were catching my eye.

With the idea born, I set out to photograph different mannequins in Manhattan. As you can imagine, there were plenty to choose from. These subjects are not shy but I did need to be cautious of glare. This is where I found my subject from the previous post, "Couture Leopard."

Why mannequins? Part of what drew me to the idea was the challenge that would come with painting people made of plastic. Their skin is hard, the stares are blank, the proportions are skewed. Conceptually they also serve as a commonplace tool showing onlookers what they should be wearing. Although a departure, they still fit within my theme and support it in a new way.

I've also used this opportunity to seek out some examples of dress that I haven't run into as easily. For example, my bride to the right. There was something eerie about her that I wanted to capture. I think she has been on display in this shop window for a while, so why not take it a step further immortalize her in painting.

The wedding dress on its own is such an important garment in our society. It resurfaces across every level of income and is prominent in many cultures around the world. It is worn for one day, but remembered for a lifetime. Still, at the end of the day, it is just fabric. I love to bring focus to the power of dress, and this is a monumental example.

No comments:

Post a Comment